FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Ecuadorian Joao Plata has been a pleasant surprise at the 2011 MLS Combine.
Despite his diminutive size, the forward is big on goals, and has scored three in just two games for his AdiZero team, cementing himself not only as one of the players to watch, but also becoming one of the most talked-about talents ahead of Thursday’s SuperDraft.
Plata hopes his scoring spark will stay lit through the third game of the Combine, and assures he has plenty more left in the tank to finish on a strong note.
“With each game I play, I have more of myself to show the coaches,” said Plata. “I’m not going to stop [with what I’ve done].”
On Monday, against the AdiPower team, Plata scored two goals – one from the penalty spot, and one from the run of play five minutes later.
“I decided to take the penalty. I felt confident,” he said. “I asked my friend, Michael [Farfan], to let me take it. He wanted to take it, but he let me do it.”
That demonstration of character and willingness to step up under pressure is something MLS scouts will surely take note of.
“It feels good to come here from somewhere else and score,” said Plata. All my teammates congratulate me, they tell me ‘good job,’ and I feel good about that because they’re showing their appreciation.”
With one last chance to make an impression on Tuesday, Plata will look to continue his good run of form to be among the chosen in the SuperDraft.
“I’m going to keep scoring in the next game so that [the coaches] can see me,” he said.